Ricardo Blackman’s Caribbean Headlines News Dec. 1st

Ricardo Blackman | CDN Barbados

Dateline Bridgetown, BARBADOS:

Rubis is giving the thumbs up to the Fair Trading Commission’s decision to block Simpson Oil Limited (SOL) from purchasing Barbados National Terminal Co Ltd (BNTCL).  In a statement, Rubis CEO, Mauricio Nicholls noted the France-based international petroleum company’s satisfaction with the ruling.  ‘Rubis is very pleased to see the FTC conducted an independent and detailed review of the transaction and considered all of the possible consequences to the competitive landscape as well as to consumers to reach their decision.

Barbadians are being encouraged to believe in their dreams.  International superstar Rihanna issued the advice during a ceremony held yesterday where Westbury New Road, where she spent her childhood, was renamed Rihanna Drive.

Dateline Port of Spain, TRINIDAD:

The Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce *(TTCIC) has described as “wholly unsatisfactory” the TT$5.5 Billion Value Added Tax (VAT) refund arrears owed to the private sector by the government.  In a statement, the TTCIC said the matter remains of critical concern to the business community, given its negative impact on the ease of doing business.  It quoted a recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) Country Report that states that at the end of March, 2017, tax arrears stood at 11 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) and that Trinidad and Tobago had been ranked 145th in the Doing Business Survey’s “paying taxes” index.

Once again, the tender process has failed to provide a ferry for the seabridge.  And Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley has mandated a four member Cabinet sub committee to take charge of the process and find a ferry “in the shortest possible time.”    The sub-committee comprises Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Stuart Young, Finance Minister Colm Imbert, and business executives Robert LaHunte and Shamfi Cudjoe.

Dateline Kingston, JAMAICA:

It was standing room only at an invitation-only gathering on  November 23, to unveil the newly branded LUMIN consultancy, a development consulting firm and wholly-owned by the University of the West Indies, comprised of a dynamic and driven team, headquartered in Kingston, Jamaica.  Formerly known as UWI Consulting, LUMIN Consulting is the result of an extensive process of restructuring and realignment of the role of the UWI.

Dateline Caracas, VENEZUELA:

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has floated the idea of cutting off oil sales to the United States which buys almost half of its output.  Never one to shy away from provocative rhetoric, socialist Maduro said that US sanctions against Caracas were over the top and may be not worth the trouble.  Venezuela produces 1.9 million barrels per day of which the US buys 750,000. 

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